Timber to be salvaged from Eastside Mill Jetty

DEMOLITION: Davey Hydraulics were commissioned by the Port Augusta City Council to remove the Eastside Mill Jetty.
DEMOLITION: Davey Hydraulics were commissioned by the Port Augusta City Council to remove the Eastside Mill Jetty.

In just a few weeks the Eastside Mill Jetty will be nothing more than a memory.

Following a month of demolition, works are expected to be completed by the end of February.

Total cost of demolition by Davey Hydraulics has reached $103,000 – substantially less than the original budgeted figure of $250,000.

“Part of the cost for the demolition includes the ability for Davey Hydraulics to retain some of the timbers for salvage, so that resulted in a net saving to the community which enables funding to be redirected into the refurbishment of that area,” Port Augusta Council CEO Johns Banks said.

Traces of the 138-year-old jetty will remain in town with Port Augusta City Council salvaging several of the timbers to be re-purposed for artwork, furniture or other amenities. 

A small section of the Jetty will also be retained as a viewing deck.

Despite rumours the jetty could be salvaged for similar costs to the demolition, two independent reports commissioned by Council prove otherwise.

“The first report in 2014 recommended its immediate closure and that was based upon safety concerns,” Mr Banks said. 

“We then did another engineering report in 2017 which included divers going down there – both of those reports are publicly available – and that report really did stress that the jetty was at the end of life and it needed to be demolished.

“Of course that’s not an outcome that we desired, but all marine infrastructure does have a life cycle.”

In 2015 the state government allocated $550,000 to demolish the old jetty and build a new one, contingent upon the Council’s ability to match the offer dollar-for-dollar. 

Council was not in a financial position to match the $550,000 but are now hoping to work with the state government to secure funds previously allocated to the demolition of the jetty for refurbishing the area. 

Port Augusta Mayor Brett Benbow said input from the community on how to use the timber is welcomed.

“From the very beginning Council recognised the importance of the jetty to the Port Augusta community and set aside timber for community use,” he said.

“This is a great opportunity for the community to put forward suggestions for the use of the timber for the benefit of the community.”

Council will be seeking community input in the coming months as part of the foreshore redevelopment.